No matter what level of care your parent is in, you likely want to ensure each moment you spend with them is quality time. You want to have conversations that help create treasured memories, and your family members likely feel the same way.
Whether visiting them in skilled nursing care, in rehabilitation or dementia care, these 5 tips can ensure you have quality time each time you visit mom or dad.
1. Establish a routine A routine can be comforting and help create a quality visit for both you, your parents and other family members.
- Develop a visiting schedule with family, so everyone has assigned times to visit. This can allow for your parent to have daily interaction with loved ones, while also avoiding being overwhelmed by too many visitors in one day.
- Try to establish the schedule of visits during times when your loved one feels more energetic or social. This can make visits more meaningful for everyone.
- Check with staff about therapy times, personal care times or when they may need down time. Let others know when it’s a good time to visit.
- When visiting, knock and announce yourself before entering the room. Show the same courtesy you would in their home.
2. Plan Ahead To make visits the most enjoyable, take a few minutes before to think about the activities or hobbies your mom or dad enjoys. Do they like music, card games, sports? They may enjoy talking about past events or milestones in their lives. Also check with the community’s activity director for suggestions.
- Share family photo albums or videos
- Write letters together to a far-away family member
- Bring a board game or deck of cards
- Take a leisurely stroll
- Give them a manicure or hand massage
3. Bring Children Children should be encouraged to visit as well. Children can bring hopeful optimism and authentic generosity that even non-related residents may find refreshing.
- Play tic-tac-toe, go fish or checkers
- Have your children draw or color a picture while there
- Recreate childhood games from past generations
- Is it a holiday or special occasion? Have your children dress in their Halloween costumes, tell all about their first day of school or reenact kicking that winning goal
- Bring history to life with personal stories. Ask your loved one to tell a first-hand story from the past and encourage your children to ask questions
4. Focus on Them Remember that it's not about you. Set your feelings aside and focus on the larger picture, enriching their lives and enjoying every moment with them. Focus on the person inside. Look into their eyes and make a connection.
5. Keep it Real You don’t need to bring gifts and material items. They just want to be with you. Slow your pace of life and enjoy your talk, laugh together and embrace a heartfelt hug.
At Resthaven, we place great importance on building relationships. The Resthaven Way is our relationship-driven approach to the way we deliver care and services to our residents. Contact a coordinator at (616) 796-3800 to learn more about our community.